Strawberry plants are always popular and one we fell short on this year, despite our vast grow your own range still supplying most home growers with the tools they need to grow on their own delicious, healthy fruit and veg at home!
The good news is we now have some strawberry plants available again – £2 per plant, and a source of sweet and juicy strawberries for the next few years at least, if cared for well, due to their perennial nature.
Easy to grow, and usually a hit with the children, strawberries enjoy a fertile compost with added slow release fertiliser, and plenty of sunshine! They don’t require much space either. Plant 30-40cm apart and keep well watered – especially after first planting, and through drier spells. They’re great to grow in pots/containers or baskets, as well as the ground, as long as the conditions are moist but well drained.
Feed with a liquid tomato fertiliser as the fruits begin to set to encourage growth, and protect with some straw around the base if possible to deter slugs/snails and keep the ripening berries clean. Also try and avoid getting the ripening fruits wet as this can cause grey mould and spoil the fruit. Wait for the berries to be fully ripe before picking too as the ripening process stops once picked.
Once the year’s harvest is over, cut foliage to around 5cm and feed again with a general fertiliser to encourage good growth for next year’s fruiting season.